Marriage is not for cowards. It is not for the selfish, inconsiderate, self-absorbed, non-committed, or the faint of heart. Marriage is a commitment to serve and to yield a godly heritage to offspring. There are many fringe benefits that come with it, but the godly offspring is the primary purpose. Much of the Body of Christ has fallen into a quicksand of separation, and are allowing themselves to be sucked into the current of divorce that is sweeping the world. With divorce being so prevalent, how can you avoid falling into the stream ?
Make a Decision to Renew Your Mind ~ Romans 12:2 ~ If you will renew your mind, you can restore your marriage. After you renew your mind find a reason to rejoice, fix the conflict, commit to love, and govern your thoughts.
1. Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth ~ Proverbs 5:18
On Saturday, (June 30, 2018) I celebrated 39 years of marriage to my pastor, best friend, confidante, girlfriend, wife, and mother of my only two children. I have loved her since I first laid eyes on her when she was a girl, and my love has only increased over the years. Jesus and Pamela Megan Hines are the best things that has ever happened to me. Even though everything has not always been perfect, we learned to perfect our love by attending to each other’s needs. It is by God’s grace that our marriage has continued to flourish, and by His grace that we are examples of marital fidelity, faithfulness, and love. I praise God everyday that I made her my wife; her life has added to mine. It has remained that way since the day we agreed to marry.
I am not a professional marriage/divorce counselor—however, I have witnessed and ministered to numerous couples whose marriages were failing. I have stood by friends who, though troubled in their marriage, chose to stay. I have also prayed with others who chose to annul their unions. I have even counseled many who rushed into marriage, and I cautioned them to wait. Some did not listen, though later they wished they had, since they are now divorced. The amazing thing is, many divorcees often seek remarriage; and statistics suggest that each time a divorcee happens down the aisle, the chances of a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th marriage failing is that much greater.
2. If It’s Broken, Fix It
It is so easy to consider the suffered wrongs, arguments, contention, conflict; and allowing outside relationships to compromise your marital commitment, violating your covenant. But you can revisit your vows, think about your children, and consider the fact that 25 years later, you really do not want to start over again with someone new just to find that when you add husband + wife it is always going to equate to some degree of conflict no matter who you choose to wed. So, you might consider fixing what you already have.
My commitment to marriage began with godly-reverence and for better or worse vows, so divorce has never been Pam and I’s state of mind. But when a husband or wife decides to give in to the “spirit of divorce” (yes, divorce is a spirit), it is generally over a long period of time. They have wrestled with their own spirit and made a conscious decision in their soul to give in to divorce. The war that is waging is real, and its frontier is your thought life. The battle is waged in the mind.
4. Govern Your Will
With all that the mind is responsible for, it is no wonder that it is a battlefield. It is where our emotions sit and absorb everything that we see, taste, feel, touch, and hear. If you allow it, your mind will control your senses and cause you to exaggerate and over-think things that your mind entertains through your sensory perception. Your mind will battle with your spirit about what is true, honest and pure; it will cause you to give into the appetites of your flesh through thoughts that have been rehearsed in your thinking over a period of days, months, and years. So the battle in the mind is consistently a matter of will. Will I submit to the influence of my spirit? Or will I succumb to the dictates of my flesh? It is the epic depiction of the devil on the left shoulder and the angel on the right. But, if you learn to cast down imaginations that entertain thoughts of divorce and trust God to heal your marriage, you will be enabled to override thoughts of separation and divorce. Ask God to restore your love for your husband. Remember what inspired you to say “I do” to your wife. Align your will with God’s word. Renew your mind. Sustain your marriage by willingly and passionately pursuing your happily ever after.